Saturday, September 21, 2013

Home Cooking - Time for a Little Comfort

Saturday is my morning to sleep in, the luxury of being at home, followed by a nice leisurely breakfast, perhaps some Amish bacon. Oh wait!  There's honey cured ham in the refrigerator as well.

Then I can  turn on an extra light and curl up on the couch in the office with a book before cleaning and other chores.
But I ended up waking early.  About 5:30 a.m. Barkley came to the bedroom door, shaking his head side to side.  Jingle, Jingle, as his tags clacked together.   "Go back to bed" I said.  He stood there and shook his head again, and again, and again. Great, it's OCD (obsessive compulsive dog).  I got up and checked to make sure his collar was comfortable, then checked his ears, as he is prone to ear infections when allergy season is really bad, which it was lately.  Shake Shake Jingle Jingle. The ear checking  involved 92 pounds of  Labrador retriever twerking and several wrestling holds that would make WWF proud but it showed some inflammation that wasn't there a couple days ago.  So off to the vet we'd go when they opened.

He got some care and medicine at the Vet's for his ears to clear them up.  Plus he got a treat from each vet tech that stopped by to pet him with a "oh, it's a black lab!" as he gave everyone that  "No one has given me ANYTHING" look. 
He's settled in and resting (hey Barkley, the dog bed is the one on the floor!) but I was feeling hungry, and it was now more lunch time than breakfast time. Plus, I'm tired as well, cleaning can wait a bit. Some Saturdays are just meant for comfort food and a little lounging around with your best friend.

 Chicken Cordon Bleu Pot Pie

You know how on some menus, they have the little heart symbol, to indicate something healthy?  Well this dish, with bacon fat, ham, lard and crème fraîche would have the little heart, PLUS some C4.
The lard (wonderful rendered stuff from my favorite butcher) goes in the pie crust, that with flour, vinegar and such, making the tenderest, flakiest pie crust (I doubled the recipe, the other crust  was part of a peach pie that was made for colleagues) 

For the pot pie, I rolled the pastry out into individual ramekin sizes, with the extras frozen for a bachelor cooking night.

The filling had honey roasted ham, (sauteed in a little bacon fat to crisp up the edges) chicken breast,  fresh veggies and a caramelized onion/garlic/herb blend that mingled very well with a sauce made of chicken stock, crème fraîche and a splash of cooking Sherry.

Sure, it will never make the doorstop that those frozen Costco pot pies will, but it would make about any one feel better.

Saturday didn't start off as planned but it sure ended pretty well.


  1. I need to make some pot pies, maybe my girls will like them. They are wonderful.

  2. Freezer full of emergency door stops here. Pastie weather today, but I can't find the glue...

  3. Now, I do not have Amish Bacon available here, but, I have what I feel is the best commercial bacon available, and it is, Falls Brand, and the company is located in Twin Falls, Idaho.

    I've been using this particular bacon, fairly exclusively for over 20 years. And I try to eat it at least 5 times a week. Thats why I usually have at least 60lbs of it in the freezer. It's not that i am a bacon snob, I just eat lots of it. Besides, I can eat all of it I want with this diet!


    So for my lunch, I had a salad with grilled chicken decorating the top. Ans yes, losing weight is a real pain in the a**!

    So chicken pot pie, along with a whole bunch of your yummy looking goodies that adorn the pages of your wonderful blog are just plain no, no.

    Some day, some day, I will be able to indulge in your decadent delights, but until then I can only drool.

    Enough whining from me, have a wonderful weekend!


  4. So glad you appreciate lard in pie crust - makes the best I have ever made, too.

    And your chicken pot pie sounds delicious!

  5. Do I HAVE to say it?
    Looks yummy, again with no warning.

    Being picky, I remember those TV dinner chicken pot pies from my childhood (in the aluminum foil pans)as being pretty tasty. I'd not bought any in years.
    So, I bought a couple, now in microwavable cardboard, and was extremely unhappy with the contents. I'd always liked the crust, but now even THAT sucked!
    Had a similar experience with Vienna Sausages. Sigh.
    Nothing stays the same...


  6. Two more days of eating bait... sigh...

  7. Love your Barkley posts. We miss our Labs, but will see them next month when we go home to crisp Fall days when we get home. Wow, that food looks good, too. Soon there will be the aroma of fresh bread baking in our house again, too.

    Sunday hugs from Port Canaveral,
    Lois :)

  8. I love hearing about the adventures of Barkley as much as I enjoy hearing about your glorious food ! Keep up the wonderful work !

  9. I feel better just reading this and seeing the pot pie photo!

  10. Speaking of comfort food. Question for you Brigid and all the other HotR fans.... Remember those School Cafeteria menus....the one thing I wish I could find is the recipe for...a comfort food of sorts for me. It was mashed potatoes, ground beef and some kind of gravy all mixed together .....ive been looking for years to find it and no luck...Apparently they do not serve it in schools any more (Ive asked) but in the 1970's it was there once a week or more often. Anyone have a clue?

  11. immagikman - Mom always made our school lunches, buying our lunch, even at school prices, not something we rarely did But I remember it and it was good. This is as best I can recreate it.

    Brown 1 pound fairly lean burger with some salt and pepper. Add onion salt to taste.

    Do not drain. Add in 4 Tablespoons of flour, stirring until it's absorbed (making a roux), then stir in 1/4 cup whole milk. Then add 3/4 to 1 cup beef broth until you get it the consistency you want. Stir in a tsp of Kitchen Bouquet for color and simmer on very low for 30 minutes. Serve on top of or swirled in mashed potatoes.

    I just got back from a tour of a very very old mill where they still grind buckweat and corn and got some to play around with. It tastes SO much better then the store stuff.

  12. Poor Barkley. And why is it that those sudden crisis moments always happen at night/when sleeping? Or usually on Sundays.

    I never was one for pot pies, but that looks yummy.

  13. Thanks Brigid, Ive been working on various recipes of my own, Ill be giving that one a try very soon. :)

  14. I know you love bacon (Me 2!) but wondered where you suggest buying bacon here in West Central Indiana?

  15. Nate - not sure if this is close but this place, about 20 miles north of Terre Haute has some excellent bacon and other meat products.


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